Downsizing When You Retire
Many people have chosen to retire as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns. If you retired recently, or if you plan to retire soon, you may want to downsize. Moving into a smaller home takes a little effort and planning. Here are our tips to make it happen more smoothly.
Of course, you don’t have to retire to downsize. You may have other reasons to enjoy the benefits of downsizing. To make this process easier, we have listed out top ideas to transition to a smaller living space.
1. Take it step by step. The task of downsizing typically takes longer than a weekend to accomplish. The larger your home is and the more items that have accumulated over time, the longer it will take to streamline and decide what to keep. This can be daunting. Start with one room at a time. Plan at least one day per room. So start well in advance, perhaps even a month in advance to keep the project manageable and less overwhelming.
2. Keep, dispose, sell, or donate. As you tackle each room, divide everything into one of four categories: keep, dispose, sell, or donate. You can gain a little extra cash by having a garage sale or selling them online. You can donate other items. Some non-profits will send a truck to pick up your items. If it’s broken and you’ve been meaning to get it fixed for months or even years, it’s time to admit you’re never going to get around to doing so and it’s time to let it go.
Donations are a great way for your gently used items to go to someone who can use them, and money raised from the sale of donated items can support important social services by organizations like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity.
3. Digitize photos and documents when possible. If you have a large collection of frame pictures and photo albums, you can scan them and load them onto just a few digital picture frames that slide through each photo on rotation. You keep the photos without the clutter. The same goes for documents that you want to keep but don’t need the original.
4. Don’t take out a storage unit. This seems like a simple, cost-effective method to downsize. The reality is most, if not all, of the things you put in storage will never be used, costing you money. When you think about putting something into storage, put it in the giveaway pile instead.
5. Ask for help. Recruit friends and family to help you sort through everything. As you build your giveaway pile, give your helpers a chance to keep anything that might be of sentimental value to them.
If you have kids, you probably still have some of their things in your home, even if they’ve already moved out. Let them know you’re downsizing and that anything they don’t claim now will be donated or tossed. If they live out of state, you can offer to ship things to them if that’s within your budget, but make it clear that this is their last chance to claim anything they might want.
Whether you’re downsizing or upsizing, we at Alliance Relocation Services are here to help. Start here to get a quote and begin the process of seeing how we make your move as easy and stress-free as possible.